Lewis Hamilton rues missed chance for front row after Mexican GP error
F1 preview: A lap at the Mexican Grand Prix
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Lewis Hamilton has claimed he could have secured a front row start for Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix had it not been for an error. The Mercedes star had had his first flying lap in Q3 deleted by race officials after exceeding track limits at turn three.
Speaking after the session, he said: “Yeah unfortunately the first one (lap), which I think was quick enough for second maybe I don’t know, but it wasn’t quite good enough. The Red Bulls are naturally so fast. I think this is such an amazing showing and I’m really proud of my team.
“This is the best qualifying we’ve had all year, so it just shows that having perseverance and never giving up is the way forward. A big thanks to everyone here and back in the factory. I’m pretty happy with my position (on grid) to be honest, it’s a long way down to turn one.”
Moments after having his lap deleted, the seven-time champion complained of suffering from “drivability issues” and a lack of power. However, the Briton delivered on his final run despite the pressure as he set a time good enough for P3.
Hamilton still looked on course for pole halfway through the lap as he set a fastest sector two time. But, he was still unable to beat Max Verstappen or team-mate George Russell who secured a spot on the front row.
Mercedes showed their potential during FP3 with Russell leading Hamilton to a one-two. The Silver Arrows introduced new updates at last week’s United States Grand Prix in a bid to close the gap to the leaders.
The updated floor and new rear wing design seemed to pay off with the team enjoying a sudden uptick in performances. Hamilton came close to securing victory last weekend but lost out to Verstappen in the closing stages.
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The German manufacturer debuted a new front wing design last weekend but had no intention of running the model until this weeknd. However, it is understood the FIA was not happy with the original design which may not have been within the spirit of the regulations.
Mercedes hinted they could make tweaks last weekend and have decided to remove a series of ridges on the front to avoid any issues with the governing body. The thin air at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez was also tipped to play into the team’s advantage.
Wolff suggested Mercedes could give Red Bull a “run for their money” in Mexico as the team still look to secure their first win of the season.
Ahead of the weekend, the team principal explained: “I need to bite my tongue because sometimes this year I have said we should be good looking good at a particular track and then we didn’t, and the other way around. So on paper, Mexico looks good. Our draggy car should be effective in the thin air, so yeah, I hope we can give them [Red Bull] a run for their money.”
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